Do Smart TVs have Freeview? Yes, But…

Are you considering buying a new smart TV and wondering whether it comes with a Freeview tuner? If so, you’re in the right place. If you’re in the market for a new smart TV, you must have all the information you need to make an informed decision. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on Freeview compatibility with smart TVs, ensuring you have everything you need to choose the perfect TV for your home.

Smart TVs and Freeview: A Common Feature

The good news is that almost all smart TVs sold in the UK come with Freeview functionality. Manufacturers have recognized the importance of providing easy access to Freeview channels, and as a result, they’ve made it a standard feature in their smart TV offerings.

When you purchase a smart TV, it will likely include a built-in Freeview tuner. This means that once you’ve connected your TV to an aerial, you can enjoy a wide range of Freeview channels without additional equipment or subscriptions. The seamless integration of Freeview with smart TVs allows you to enjoy a comprehensive entertainment experience with minimal hassle.

How Freeview Works

To better understand how Freeview integrates with smart TVs, let’s briefly explore how the service operates. Freeview is a digital terrestrial television service that provides access to numerous free-to-air channels. These channels are broadcast using digital signals transmitted through TV aerials, ensuring that anyone with a compatible device can access the content without needing a subscription.

Smart TVs are designed to easily tune into these digital signals, allowing you to enjoy Freeview channels without additional equipment. Once your smart TV is connected to an aerial and properly set up, you can use the on-screen menu to scan for available channels, and your TV will automatically store them for easy access.

Watching Freeview without an Aerial: Exploring Alternative Options

If you don’t have an aerial, you can still enjoy Freeview content through alternative methods. In this case, you’ll need an internet connection to access the Freeview Play app, which we’ll explore in more detail in the next section. By utilizing the app, you can watch live and on-demand content and catch-up services without the need for an aerial.

You can use a casting functionality to watch Freeview Play content on your smart TV without an aerial. Casting allows you to send content from a smartphone, tablet, or computer directly to your smart TV, displaying the content on your TV screen. Many smart TVs come with built-in casting capabilities, while others require an additional device like a Chromecast to enable this feature. Once your devices are set up for casting, you can use the Freeview Play app on your mobile device or computer and cast the content to your smart TV.

For a more detailed guide on watching Freeview without an aerial, we have an entire article on our site dedicated to this topic. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to enjoy Freeview content without the need for an aerial connection.

Read more about Freeview without an Aerial

Freeview Play: Enhancing the Freeview Experience

In addition to the standard Freeview channels, you can also enhance your viewing experience with Freeview Play. Freeview Play is a service that combines live television with on-demand content and catch-up services, all in one convenient package. To access Freeview Play, you must download the app on a compatible smart TV.

It’s important to note that Freeview Play requires an internet connection to function, as the on-demand content and catch-up services are streamed online. By connecting your smart TV to the internet, you can take advantage of Freeview Play’s extensive library of content, allowing you to enjoy your favourite shows and discover new ones whenever you like.

Accessing Catch-Up Services through Smart TV Apps

Smart TVs offer various additional benefits, including access to popular catch-up services. These services allow you to watch previously aired programmes, ensuring you never miss an episode of your favourite show. Some of the most popular catch-up services available in the UK include BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and 4OD.

To access these catch-up services, you’ll need to download their respective apps on your smart TV and connect your TV to the internet. Once you’ve installed the apps, you can browse their extensive content libraries and stream your desired shows directly on your smart TV. These catch-up services provide many entertainment options, allowing you to enjoy an even more comprehensive viewing experience.

Connecting A Smart TV To Freeview: No Different Than Other TVs

Despite the numerous features and functionalities that smart TVs bring to the table, connecting one to Freeview is no different than connecting a traditional TV. Just as with any other television, the process is straightforward, allowing you to enjoy a wealth of Freeview content without any complications.

Step-By-Step Guide To Connecting Your Smart TV To Freeview

To connect your smart TV to Freeview, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Connect Your Aerial: Attach an aerial to the RF input (also known as an antenna or aerial socket) on the back of your smart TV. If you don’t have an aerial, consider exploring alternative options such as the Freeview Play app or casting, as mentioned in the previous sections.
  2. Power On Your Smart TV: Turn on your smart TV and give it a moment to boot up.
  3. Access The Menu: Using your smart TV remote, press the ‘Menu’ or ‘Settings’ button to access your TV’s settings.
  4. Auto-Tuning: Navigate to the ‘Channels’ or ‘Tuning’ section in your TV’s settings. From there, select the ‘Auto-Tune’ or ‘Automatic Channel Scan’ option. Your smart TV will now scan for available Freeview channels in your area.
  5. Save The Channels: Once the scanning process is complete, your smart TV will store the Freeview channels it has found, making them easily accessible through the on-screen menu.
  6. Enjoy Your Freeview Channels: You can now browse through the available Freeview channels and enjoy your favourite shows and programmes on your smart TV.

The process of connecting a smart TV to Freeview is essentially the same as connecting a traditional TV, ensuring you can enjoy the best of both worlds. With Freeview compatibility, your smart TV offers an even more comprehensive entertainment experience, allowing you to make the most of your television investment.


In summary, most smart TVs sold in the UK come with Freeview compatibility, making it easy for you to enjoy a wide range of channels without additional equipment or subscriptions. With the integration of Freeview Play and catch-up services, your smart TV can provide an even more enhanced entertainment experience.

If you don’t have an aerial, remember you can still access Freeview content through the Freeview Play app and casting functionality. With all this information at your disposal, you can feel confident investing in a smart TV and enjoy the wealth of Freeview content available. Happy viewing!

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About S. Santos

๐Ÿ‘‹ I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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